Group lauds gambling machine case getting day in court

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – A organization that pushes family issues rpaised news that a decade-old case over slot machines will be heard by the state Supreme Court.

“It has been a long wait and we’ve been patient,” said Kent Ostrander, executive director of The Family Foundation, “but we are truly delighted that light will finally be shed on this court case that is critical in multiple ways to the future of the Commonwealth.”

Tuesday, the Kentucky Supreme Court said will hear oral arguments on Aug. 14 in the 10-year court case that will clarify whether a “slot-like” gambling device is, in fact, a form of “pari-mutuel wagering on a horse race,” which Kentucky Law requires.

The lawsuit not only addresses “Are the machines pari-mutuel”? but also tackles the larger issue of whether a sitting governor, Gov. Steve Beshear in 2010, can ask the state’s judicial system through the Racing Commission to a implement policy, such as the expansion of gambling, even if it has not been approved by the General Assembly.

“Our attorney, Stan Cave, figured out the details of how the machines operate even when the gambling advocates did everything they could to hinder the openness needed to fully evaluate the devices,” said Ostrander. “This is not only The Family Foundation’s ‘day in court,’ but it is also the ‘people of Kentucky’s day in court’ because Kentucky families are the ultimate victims of such bad policy and the circuitous means they have use to attempt to secure it.”

Ostrander pointed out there are some 7,500 such gambling machines allegedly “authorized,” and several thousand of them actually operating now, with many of them in operation for the last nine years.

“With their track record in the case, I question their sincerity of those bringing the question of legality to the court in the first place,” said Ostrander. ”If legality was truly their concern, they would have waited for the court’s decision before moving forward with the operation of the machines.”

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